February 27, 2009 [LINK / comment]

"Kanawha," a.k.a. West Virginia

Most people know that West Virginia seceded from Virginia after Virginia seceded from the United States in 1861, but not many people know that this process was complex and drawn-out. In fact, they were considering various names such as "Kanawha," before they finally decided on "West Virginia." Which counties would be in which state was highly uncertain for much of the Civil War, and there were radical proposals to transfer much of Virginia's land to Maryland and Delaware, as a form of reparation. See the fascinating graphic at the Strange Maps blog; hat tip to Waldo.